The pandemic was a catalyst for showing companies looking to cut costs just how much they were spending on their software tools. New York-based Tropic’s platform not only uncovers those savings, but also brings a click-and-approve approach to buying software. Today, the company announced a $25 million Series A round of funding.
Canaan Partners led the round, with participation from Founder Collective and Mo Koyfman’s new fund, Shine. It gives Tropic $27.1 million in total funding since the company emerged from stealth in 2020, CEO David Campbell told TechCrunch.
Prior to founding the company with Justin Etkin, Campbell was in technology and sales roles, selling software contracts of every size, and realized how complex and rigid the contracts were getting as companies grew larger and the lack of price transparency increased. The complexity of some contracts can cause companies to overpay, even locking companies into payments they can’t afford, Campbell said.
On top of that, more buyers are younger now and their experience with purchasing software is pulling out their phone to download an app, while buying a customer relationship management tool will take six months to buy and cost thousands of dollars.
“Looking at the space, we are in a mirror maze of software, including companies using software to build products that they then sell back to the software companies,” Campbell said. “Companies are only buying software once a year, yet the process can be so complex.”
Tropic’s SaaS procurement model gathers the whole process under one platform. Unlike some competitors’ approaches, it takes on the heavy lifting so when companies have to buy or renew a contract, users can access Tropic’s one-click purchasing service to outsource the transaction. After the contracts are signed, its platform manages the technology and ensures financing is in order. This approach saves companies 23%, on average, on the software purchases, which Campbell said “moves the needle” for many companies where software is the No. 1 cost after salary.
In recent years, cloud software has become a fast-growing spend category across most businesses. Campbell said the average company can have more than 100 software contracts, while that jumps to over 500 for enterprise organizations. Meanwhile, global spend on enterprise software is forecasted to reach $599 billion by the end of 2021, a 13.2% increase over the previous year, according to Statista.
In the last 12 months, the company added over 60 customers, counting Qualtrics, Vimeo, Zapier and Intercom, surpassed $250 million in managed spend and processed transactions for over 1,200 vendors. The company is seeing 100% quarter over quarter growth, and in the last quarter, doubled its annual recurring revenue, Campbell said.
Tropic will use the funding for R & D and to deepen integrations with existing procurement tools in the cloud software ecosystem. Over the past year, the company’s headcount has grown to 50 and Campbell has “aggressive hiring plans between now and the rest of the year” focused on the tech side with engineering and product management.
Hootan Rashidifard, principal from Canaan Partners, said his firm was tracking the software procurement sector and learned about Tropic through Founder Collective, which led the company’s seed round.
“We’re seeing software and financial services converge and Tropic sits squarely at the intersection of both in a category with massive tailwinds,” Rashidifard said via email. “Software is accelerating the share of expenses while also penetrating every part of an organization, and software purchasing is becoming more decentralized. Tropic’s platform is in a fragmented market with high payment volume, which is ripe for layering on all kinds of adjacent services.”
By Christine Hall